Saturday, October 25, 2008

Night Caching

So there are many types of caches that you can do - multies, micros, urbans, night caches and so on. There are also different levels of difficulty, not just of terrain but in access - some you need to take climbing equipment with you, some you need to decode the first clue, some involve much research before a cache can be undertaken so you can solve the clues, some have the first clue hidden in magic eye picture that you have to view online before starting, some have webcams at them that take a photo every minute to record the fact that you actually found it so you have to wait there long enough to ensure you picture was taken, while others you need a friend at home to actually wait for you command to activate a web cam...

Tonight we did our first night cache. Necessary equipment includes warm clothes (its cold here now) and torches (plus of course the GPS). Night caches generally rely on reflectors, so can only be done at night. With this one once you found the first reflector you had to see the next reflector and walk to it, shine your torch around and see the next one and walk to it and so on until you find the final and dig up the log book.

It was cool!!!!! The reflectors have to be close enough that you can see the next one from where you are, but we were in an orchard then a forest so its not so simple so it is quite fun

It was also the first time we have come across other cachers. As we were heading to the first spot we could see torches in the distance and guessed (correctly) that we weren't the only ones out. It did prove somewhat difficult to find the second reflector so the people we had come across (who have been caching much longer but were also on their first night cache) called a friend who knew the person who had set up the cache who was they then called to give us a clue to find the second reflector...

Once we had the second we were off. The reflectors were generally the size of a lage nail head in a tree trunk so it wasn't super easy, but it was fun.

Once you have worked out what you are looking for though it is easier to find. The first cache we did we didn't find the hidden box because we didn't actually know what kind of place it would be hidden in - now it's much easier to know where it should be. The first time we looked for something in a more urban setting it was also difficult, but you start to think like the person who hid the object and it becomes easier to find it.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Singing in the Rhein, just singing in the Rhein...

Ok, so that was a crap title, but whatever!

2 weekends ago Bel and I were planning on going rock climbing (indoor) on the Saturday until Bel managed to get us invited to go on a 20km day walk / hike along the Rhein (big river). The Rheinsteig is a hike that runs along the Rhein from Wiesbaden (the capital of Hessen) to Bonn (the old capital of West Germany), through winefields and past castles, for a total distance of 320km. We decided that 300km of it was complete crap (kidding), so opted for the 17-or-so km from Östrich-Winkel to Rüdesheim (toursit Mecca of the Rhein).

Shiny web

Misty hikers

Foggy God of Wine
If I had have got my act into gear, I could have downloaded the GPS information for the trail that we were going to follow...but I didn't. So instead we relied on a book that we had of the trail, looking for little Rheinsteig stickers stuck to things, and keying in key points along the way on our GPS. All in all it was pretty successful.

Unfortunately the weather didn't really want to play along with our plans. We ended up with a fairly cold day (good for hiking) that was really foggy (bad for the view, which is supposed to be magical). But luckily it didn't rain along the way.
After conquering the 17km trail we sat and had coffee and cake in Rüdesheim before catching the train back to where we had parked our car...or so we thought. We got into the train which proceeded to stop at the next stop, and then skip ours and the next one, before stopping way to far away for us to walk back. Luckily there was a bus at the station that was heading back to Östrich-Winkel, and the bus driver let us ride back with them at no extra cost.
All in all we had a great day, and I would recommend it to anyone who ever gets the crazy idea of "going for a 20km walk" in their heads. :)


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Der Tag der deutschen Einheit - Das lange Wochenende

At the start of October we had what is our last long weekend before Xmas, thanks to "der Tag der deutschen Einheit" (the Day of German Unity). We had planned to spend the weekend camping in Dresden, but Bel caught a pretty bad cold in the weeks leading up, and we thought that camping in the cold weather wasn't the best of ideas. So instead we planned to spend a weekend in Frankfurt and explore the city a little.

In the jungle, the quiet jungle, the Lion sleeps tonight.

How you doin', Tiger?
I was poking around in the Internet a few days in advance and managed to stumble across a geocache that was located at the Frankfurt Zoo. We had never been to the Zoo before, and thought that this would be a good chance to combine a trip to the Zoo with a new hobby of ours.

These little guys were so cute!

Spike's the name...
The cache that I found is a so called Puzzle Cache that lead us through the Zoo to a bunch of different enclosures where you had to answer questions about the animals that you found there. These answers were then plugged into a formula that lead us to the final location of the cache, which we found relatively easily.
Bel had a ball photographing all of the animals along the way, and we both laughed ourselves silly at the Rhino that decided to roll around on the ground like a tool, all the while farting like a large a large diarrhoetic version of me, really. :)

Looks like someone ate too much.

I'm blue da ba dee da ba die...

For Saturday we had registered ourselves for a introductory Rock Climbing course at an indoor climbing center near us. The course was 2hrs long went through the basics of how to tie a double-8 to secure yourself to the line, how to belay with an ATC, etc. After we had passed the tests and got our certificate (Germans! Gotta have a certificate for everything!) we were allowed to climb until closing - not that we made it that long. This sport is REALLY tiring! And my god did we know about it the next day - we couldn't open bottles, lift anything, or even type properly. Everything that used our forearms in anyway hurt like hell.

Lil' blighter looks all lonely.

Ugly lookin' bird eyeing off my hot lookin' bird.
Since the course we have been back again, and are planning to go again this weekend. Suckers for punishment. :) When we come home, we expect some of you to come with us every now and then, ok?

Are you...? Are you lookin' at me?

Tooty the Rhino takes on Barkey the Tree.

These Flamingos are actually real.

The grand "Finding of the Cache".


Thursday, October 16, 2008


Just a quick one to say congratulations to Whitty and Tanya for the birth of their baby girl Maya Katherine. We wish you guys all the best, and look forward to catching up with you in December.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Making your work trips fun!

Here's a cool way to make your work trips fun - GEOCACHING!!!

I flew to Finland today (hi from Helsinki) in preparation for some training that I have to deliver tomorrow. After getting here I sat in my hotel for 3 or 4 hours and did some work before heading out side with my GPS receiver to go looking for little buried boxes - and I found 'em! In 90min I managed to find 4 that were located within an 800m radius of my hotel (I had downloaded the co-ordinates in the weekend). :)

Sure beats sitting in your hotel room watching crappy TV. :)


PS: You can now see our Geocaching stats, from the 2 sites that we are registered on, on the top-right of this blog page.